Monday, January 28, 2013 - Matt Damon helped Santa Barbara International Film Festival officials honour his pal Ben Affleck on Saturday (26Jan13) when he presented the actor-turned-director with a prestigious award.

The Bourne Identity star was filled with pride as he paid tribute to his childhood friend, who was chosen as the 2013 recipient of the Modern Master

Award in recognition of his work on critically-acclaimed hostage drama Argo, which has picked up a clutch of top prizes at events this awards season.

In a heartwarming speech, Damon told the California crowd, "Ben's made these three great movies and the last one, Argo, is a legitimately great movie that's already nominated for Best Picture and it's already won the Golden

Globe for Best Picture and for Ben for Best Director, and no one's going to be surprised if it wins the Oscar for Best Picture.

"And so here I am with my buddy, who is, without question, a great director. So... the only thing I can say is... please welcome somebody who is undeniably two things: my very old friend and a very young master."

Clearly moved by the kind words as he stepped up to the stage, Affleck quipped, "That's heavy, man!" before turning to the audience and saying, "I wanna say thank you to Matt Damon , who, when he gets this award, I hope will

invite me here to give a speech about him. Mine will be a bit more of a roast because so many of the brilliant characteristics of Matt are so blatantly self-evident."

Affleck also joked about news that moviemakers in Iran are planning on their own version of Argo to tell their side of the hostage story in the film, adding, "The Iranians themselves are producing a sequel to the movie, my first successful franchise!"

Ending his acceptance speech on a reflective note, Affleck concluded, "The only real wisdom I have to offer is that if there's a mastery, it's in partnership. Thank you very much."

The filmmaker had another reason to celebrate on Sunday (27Jan13) after Argo was named the winner of the Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture prize at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

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